Monday May 29, 2023

Floods to have negative impact on rural economy: say experts

By Our Correspondent
September 24, 2022

LAHORE:The recent floods and rains will have a very negative impact on rural economy, which may further increase unemployment and inflation. There is need to initiate work on the water reservoir project if dams could not be built in Pakistan to avoid such difficulties arise in the future due to rains and climate change.

These views were expressed by the discussants in the Jang Economic Session on “Negative impact of flood destruction on rural economy - future of agriculture and food security”.The panelists were Dr Anjum Ali Butar, Khalid Paracha, Nadeem Qureshi, Dr Ahmed Saleem Akther, Tayyab Ijaz Qureshi and Mian Fazal Ahmed while moderated by Sikindar Lodhi.

Dr Anjum Ali Butar said environmental pollution is one of the major causes of recent floods and emergency steps required to control it. More than 600 percent rainfall than usual in Balochistan is the reason behind the flood destruction in Punjab while similar situation occurred in Sindh due to unexpected heavy rains. The government has started survey of loss in the flood affected areas. The Punjab government is working to provide free seed and fertilizers to flood-affected areas farmers. He asked for collective approach at national level to avoid such calamity in the future.

Nadeem Qureshi said the floods had become a problem for Pakistan. Pakistan witnessed many floods in the past, including 2010 but never made dams. If lesson learnt from 2010 floods then this flood would have been beneficial today. Both the politicians and the private sector are working for the flood victims but we should centralise the work and focus on rehabilitation and re-construction projects in the flood affected areas.

Dr Ahmed Saleem Akther said considering rain as a nuisance is inappropriate. The rains are blessing and can be benefited only with the help of timely planning and its implementation. In Pakistan, the major cause of negative impact on rural and agricultural economy due to large-scale flood disaster is the lack of planning and implementation. Pakistan is among the major countries affected with climate change while its share in climate change is less than one percent. One of the causes of floods is the lack of timely construction of dams while it is not possible to estimate the damage caused by floods to the agricultural economy. However, flood adversely affected cotton, dates, rice and other crops in Sindh. The proper planning and implementation of it is the only solution to avoid possible threats from future climate change and flood situation.

Tayyab Ijaz Qureshi said the current flood and avoiding the future climate change is a challenge for the entire nation. Pakistan do not focus on research and planning while entire nation has been directly affected by this flood and inflation due to flood has hitting everyone. The issue of inflation and food security will increase alongside increase in imports. There is need to promote the kitchen gardening and all institutions jointly work to bring country out of crisis.

Khalid Paracha said that wheat, rice and cotton crops adversely affected with flood while now the farmers are uncertain about availability of seeds. Flood has adversely affected the infrastructure while there will also be concerns about future climate change.

Mian Fazal said unfortunately we wake up after crisis hit while not made any future thinking and planning. The global warming and climate change is reason behind the rains while no implementation of pollution control is also the reason. A proper survey of damages should be done and planning should be done to deal with the current disaster situation. The corruption should be controlled in rehabilitation and reconstruction work.